VMware vRealize Automation – vRA7 – Custom Hostnaming Extension for vRA7 and beyond

THIS EXTENSION IS NO LONGER MAINTAINED

I want to thank all of you that have downloaded and used this module.  We never expected it to be as widely used as it has been.  We decided to stop maintaining this because it was originally built as an example of how one could achieve this capability.  Much to our surprise it has been deployed into countless production environments.  As a result we have received countless requests for support which we cannot provide.

Their is good news however.  Their is a commercially available supported product that is capable to doing much more than this module is capable of.  For more information   See article on SovLabs Hostname Module 

Overview

One of the most frequent asks when using vRA is, “How do I deploy machines using my company’s hostnaming standards automatically using vRA?”  Since the out-of-the box hostnaming only provides a way to do prefix-suffix, the answer to this question usually is that it will require customization.

This solution is intended to provide a way to implement this functionality by using a small, highly versatile custom extension which can handle 95% of use cases without writing custom code.

The rest of this article contains instructions on installing and configuring the vRA Custom Hostnaming Extension.  This extension allows administrators to model very specific custom hostnaming schemes for their vRA virtual machines, Deployments, and vCloud Director vApps using vRA custom properties, with dynamic creation of stock machine prefixes and index tracking for each unique hostname combination.

This extension is proof-of-concept or demo grade.  While it runs well and consistently, it has not been put through a formal quality assurance process, so please use with caution.

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VMware NSX – What is with the Cisco or NSX debate?

Why is there a perception that you can use Cisco or NSX?  If you perform a simple google search you will find many articles that aim to answer the question of Cisco vs. NSX?  This is like saying HP or vSPhere?  It doesn’t make any sense.  Cisco and NSX can co-exist in a datacenter it’s not a one or the other proposition.  Let’s face it Cisco owns the network layer in most datacenters and they should, they make damn good networking hardware.  But that’s just it.  They make hardware much like HP, Dell, and IBM make hardware.  It has limitations.

Don’t get me wrong hardware is a necessary evil for obvious reasons for all types of  virtualization whether it be computer, networking, or storage.  I just don’t understand the big debate regarding Cisco vs. NSX.  It’s really very simple.  Keep your existing Cisco hardware and get more out of it with NSX.  I hear many making an argument that network virtualization is not needed because you cannot consolidate multiple switches or routers into one.  This baffles me as well.  If you support this argument or feel it is valid you don’t understand the value of Network virtualization

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VMware Remote Console 7.1 for MAC is now available

This is for all you MacBook users out there.  If you are like me and run a VM to use the VMRC console, well those days are over.  VMware Remote Console 7.1 for mac was released yesterday!

Last October, VMware announced the release of the first standalone VMware Remote Console application for Windows.  Yesterday, VMware went live with the first-ever VMware Remote Console (VMRC) for Mac OS.  Until the end of last year, VMRC has been a plug-in component in the web clients of vSphere, vCloud Director, and vRealize Automation.  Until this release of VMRC for Mac, customers on Mac clients were limited to using a basic HTML console and a plugin-based device control.

Google has scheduled the deprecation of the Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI) in Chrome browsers in September 2015, which will stop the legacy VMware Remote Console plug-in in web clients from functioning.  VMware will continue to add VMRC support for different platforms so that customers will have plugin-independent access to VM console functionality and operations, as well as client device connections to VMs on remote ESXi hosts.

VMRC can be launched directly from vSphere web client versions 5.5u2b and 6.0, as well as URLs specifying ESXi host and VM information.  The application supports Mac OS 10.8 and up.

You can find the VMware Remote Console (VMRC) for Mac Download here.

VMware NSX 6.1.3 Released Today

For all of you that have been patiently waiting for NSX 6.1.3 so you can upgrade to vSphere 6, your wait is over!  VMware has relaeased NSX 6.1.3 today and it is now live for download.  On top of support for vSPhere 6 it also includes a number od security and bug fixes details can be found in the release notes.

NSX vSphere 6.1.3 introduces the following features:

  • Dynamic routing protocols are supported on sub-interfaces.
  • ECMP and Logical Firewall are supported at the same time with logical routing.

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VMware vSphere 6 & NSX – Planning on upgrading to vSPhere 6 and in an environment with NSX?

So vSphere 6 launched last week and you want to kick the tires in your lab.  Hopefully before you install you head on over to VMware and check out the Interoperability Matrixes. I’ve been reading posts online about folks jumping in with both feet and just straight out upgrading to vSphere 6.  Of course I may have been one of those people myself.

I being who I am got all excited over the vSphere 6 release and all the new features it offers cracked open the upgrade guide and went all in with the vSphere 6 migration utility and migrated my vCenter 5.5 server to vCenter 6.  That’s half the battle right.  Get through the migration and everything will be golden.  Not quiet.  After the migration, (which went fairly smooth by the way) I launched the vSphere web client and went to login and noticed I was not able to login as myself.  Luckily the administrator@vsphere.local account was able to login with no issues.  I then started poking around and noticed I no longer had a link for Networking and Security.

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VMware Introduces 24 product releases including the much anticipated vSPhere 6

Yesterday VMware was very busy announcing the release of over 2 dozen product which included two new products to the market these two new additions to the VMware portfolio are:

VMware Integrated Openstack – That’s right it’s out and it’s available now for you to download.
VMware Software Manager 1.0 – This probably not as exciting as VIO, but it will come in handy for finding, selecting, and downloading the content needed to install or upgrade a VMware Suite.

Below is a list of all the products released yesterday including links to their downloads, documentation, and release notes for your convenience.

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VMware vCenter Orchestrator 5.1.3 is released.

This release of vCenter Orchestrator fixes a number of issue from the previous release.  Mainly a maintenance release, so when you can find the time I would recommend getting it installed and putting some of these issues in the past.  If for no other reason you will want to get this installed to resolve the issue where nested workflow don’t resume properly when rebooting the vCO server. Issues resolved in this release:

 

Active Directory account gets locked when connecting to Microsoft SQL database
If you set up a connection to a Microsoft SQL database with a Windows Active Directory account, the account gets locked from the domain.

vCenter Server inventory disappears from the Orchestrator client
If there is an outage of the connectivity to vCenter Server, the vCenter Server inventory disappears from the Orchestrator client and cannot be accessed until you restart the vCenter Orchestrator server.

Purging operations might cause a Microsoft SQL database deadlock
Orchestrator’s purging operations for events might cause a deadlock in a Microsoft SQL database.

VcAuthorizationRole.roleId does not provide the correct role ID and always returns 0
When you use the vCenter Server plug-in VcAuthorizationRole.roleId attribute, the correct role ID is not provided. Instead, the role ID of every object is displayed as 0.

Nested workflows not resuming properly when rebooting
If there are nested workflows still running when you reboot an Orchestrator server, the nested workflows do not resume from the last workflow element that was running at the time of reboot. After the Orchestrator server starts again, the nested workflows resume from the begining.

Import Package dialog responding slowly
The Import Package dialog might respond slowly when importing a package with content that is already available in Orchestrator.

Problematic releasing of locks
If you create a lock with LockingSystem.lockAndWait(lockName,””) and try to release it by running the Release all locks workflow, the LockingSystem.unlockAll() method does not release all locks.

Release Notes can be found here.

Download can be found here.

VMware NSX 6.1.2 for vSphere has been released

If you are currently running NSX for vSphere 6.1 you will be happy to hear that that NSX 6.1.2 for vSphere has been released.  In it is a number of bug fixes that I am particularly happy about.  One fix in particular that I am very happy to see is:

vNICs get ejected because of insufficient ESXi heap memory –  I ran into this in the MoaC Lab and of course it took some time to track down and get resolved.  Aside from being a difficult bug to diagnose it caused secondary issues that were just a pain.  So glad to see this one is taken care of.

Poodle Vulnerability – This release includes an API call that you can use to diable SSL v3 on  specified NSX Edges.

OpenSSL – Has been upgraded to the 101j release

UI Fixes – Not yet sure which ones.

Security Group Parallel Creation  – has been added.  This should help in the over time it takes to deploy App Services in vRealize Automation.

VPN Fixes – I’m not sure on what these fixes are, but I hope there is a fix for OSPF updates over Layer2 VPN.  I will surely let you know once I find out.

There is more details on the the NSX for vSphere 6.1.2 release in the release notes.

You can also find the download here.

vRealize Automation – vCAC 6.1 / NSX 6.1 – Creating a Multi-Machine Blueprint w/NSX Routed Gateway Support

The out of the box vCAC –> NSX integration requires the use of Multi-Machine blueprints.  Multi-Machine blueprints are basically a blueprint that pulls together one of more single-machine blueprint.  In order to create a three tier web application like the one I will be walking through we will need three standard blueprints to utilize within our Multi-Machine blueprint.  In the below example will be configuring a Multi-Machine blueprint that will deploy an NSX Edge Gateway on to it’s own reservation and then deploy three different blueprints each onto a different network specific to it’s tier.  Example below:

image

I will be walking through how to create a Multi-Machine blueprint that will build out the equivalent of the above diagrams Multi-Machine App.

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